The Chicago Bulls have been bitten by the injury bug once again.
After being without Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis, the team will now be without backup guard Denzel Valentine for the remainder of the 2018-19 NBA season. Valentine underwent ankle surgery on Tuesday and it was announced that he will miss the rest of the season by the team in an official statement.
The injury is just the latest for this Bulls team that is in full rebuild mode right now and heading towards another lottery pick in next June’s NBA Draft.
Valentine was selected with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft out of Michigan State just weeks after winning the Associated Press Player of the year Award for the Spartans. But so far through his first few seasons in the NBA he’s failed to really produce.
The guard is averaging just 8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.3 total assists in his short NBA career. That’s not the type of production you want from a first round pick while trying to rebuild.
Valentine is shooting just under 40 percent from the field in his career and 37.4 from the three-point line. Coming off the bench, Valentine did get serious run with the second team in years past and was a player that could provide a little scoring.
Now moving forward, it appears as if the Bulls are once again in full tank mode.
The Bulls currently sit at 5-17 as we hit the end of November and are 13th out of 15 teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. They currently have the the third worst record in the league, which sounds bad but it may actually be a good thing seeing that will need to get a high lottery pick this season. The more losses for the Bulls, the more it’s good for their future.
As it stands now, the Bulls are likely to not be favored in many more games this season. With 60 games left, I’d say the Bulls will likely be favored in at the most 10. I can’t imagine them being favored in more than that and even that number seems like a big stretch.
The Bulls might be worth a bet here and there this season, especially if they do somehow get good odds in an upcoming game. If you were interested in keeping track of the odds for the Bulls, you can click here to get updated odds on not only Chicago but the rest of the NBA as the season goes on.
Chicago is still trying to find their way through this rebuild, in another year with head coach Fred Hoiberg. After the acquisitions of Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen, Chicago has some building pieces for the future. They drafted Wendell Carter Jr. in the first round of the 2018 Draft and so far he’s looked like a player the Bulls can add to their future core.
But as this season goes on, the Bulls are going to need to see some improvement on both ends of the court and get these players all on the court at the same time to build that chemistry. That will only help in the future.
As this season goes on, it’s a lost one but Bulls fans will still have something to root for and a lot of them will continue to pay attention to the standings not for first place but for the worst record and comparing them against teams that are also looking to land the next big talent in what should be a loaded draft for the NBA.
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